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Terrell Thomas figured Tom Coughlin would retire after 2012

Terrell Thomas makes a catch at Giants minicamp.

Terrell Thomas makes a catch at Giants minicamp. (June 13, 2012) Credit: Patrick E. McCarthy

Apparently, Terrell Thomas did not think he would play for Tom Coughlin again. It wasn’t that Thomas thought he would not come back to the Giants after a third ACL injury cost him the 2012 season. It’s that he didn’t think Coughlin would.

In an interview Tuesday morning on NFL AM, the cornerback said he figured Coughlin would retire after the 2012 season.

“I thought it was this season,” Thomas said when the subject of Coughlin’s retirement was brought up. “But I think he has one more in him.”

One more. As in 2013. There’s been some murmuring that Coughlin, who will be 67 by the time the next season kicks off, could be planning on this being his last season. Thomas, though, is the first player to openly speculate about it. Of course, since Thomas thought Coughlin would retire after the 2012 season – and he didn’t – he’s not exactly a trusted source in regards to the inner workings of Tom Coughlin’s mindset.

Coughlin’s newest contract, which he signed last offseason, runs through the 2014 season. It’s well-established that the Giants are not fond of having head coaches in the final year of their contract. So there is a good chance that 2013 could be Coughlin’s last. Or, he may decide to play out his contract. Either way, the tenure of Coughlin is clearly limited to a handful of seasons at most.

One thing that could sway his decision-making could be a third Super Bowl championship. Thomas mentioned that as well.

“We have a great nucleus of guys, and I don’t think he wants to give that up,” the cornerback said. “That passion is still burning in him. He’s in that facility all day every day … I think he wants to go out on top. Hopefully we can get it right and bring a Super Bowl home in Giants Stadium.”

A few other nuggets from Thomas’ interview on the NFL Network's morning show:

-- Asked which NFC East quarterback Thomas was most nervous about facing, he made a seemingly odd choice in naming Dennis Dixon first. He also mentioned Michael Vick and RG3, but the first name was a guy who was a practice-squad player in 2012. That’s because he’ll be running Chip Kelly’s offense. “Any type of running quarterback is never good because you have to play both,” Thomas said. “The pocket quarterback we can contain very well.”

-- Thomas said that a big reason for the disappointment in 2012 was relying too much on younger players. He said the Giants missed the veteran presence of himself, Deon Grant, Aaron Ross and the injured Kenny Phillips in the secondary. What he failed to mention was that Prince Amukamara, Stevie Brown and Will Hill wound up playing pretty well  in their places. There were some depth issues, though.

-- Thomas said his rehab is going well off a third ACL surgery and he continues to run.

-- Asked which free agent he would like the Giants to sign next month, Thomas pointed to fellow USC alum Rey Maualuga as a linebacker to help replace Michael Boley.

-- And finally, Thomas said that the Giants are “cap-tight” and figures there will be a lot of players who will have to restructure their deals. Thomas had his own contract completely redone – as in he signed a new one – for one year at essentially the minimum with some incentives.

New York Sports